European defense, industrial autonomy, sharing vaccines, fighting violence against women: these are the main announcements of the annual speech on the State of the Union delivered by the President of the European Commission, Ursula from the Leyen, to the Parliament in Strasbourg.
– COMMON DEFENSE A defense summit will be organized by the French presidency of the European Union in the first half of 2022. from the Leyen he wished for greater autonomy and more sharing of intelligence among the EU states.
– AFGHANISTAN The European Union will provide another 100 million euros in aid to humanitarian organizations present in Afghanistan to avoid “a serious famine and humanitarian disaster” in the country in the hands of the Taliban since mid-August. The EU had already announced in August the quadrupling of its humanitarian aid to Afghanistan and neighboring countries, bringing it to 200 million in 2021.
– TECHNOLOGICAL SOVEREIGNTY Brussels will propose a European law on semiconductors to defend the technological sovereignty of the EU, currently dependent on Asia in the matter, while the shortcomings paralyze various sectors of activity. By 2030, the EU aims to produce 20% of the world’s semiconductors, doubling its current share.
– ACCELERATE GLOBAL VACCINATION Stressing that on a global scale “less than 1% of administered doses (of vaccines) have been injected into low-income countries”, from the Leyen announced that the EU will almost double its donation of vaccines to these countries, reaching 450 million doses by the middle of 2022.
– THE EUROPE OF HEALTH A new authority, called Hera, managed by the same Commission, will be responsible for preparing the EU for the next health crises and for investing in promising medical technologies.
– ERASMUS FOR INACTIVES The EU will launch a new program, Alma, on the Erasmus model, to offer unemployed or untrained young people “the possibility of temporary work experience in another Member State” compared to their own.
– BUDGET RULES The EU will launch “in the coming weeks” a debate on the reform of the European budget rules which should lead to their relaxation.
– FIGHT AGAINST TAX EVASION Brussels will propose a bill aimed at the profits hidden behind the fictitious companies so that the companies pay “a fair amount of taxes”.
– FORCED LABOR The Commission will propose a ban on the sale of forced labor products in the EU, which could affect Chinese production involving the Uyghur Muslim minority.
– VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN The European executive will propose a law on combating violence against women “by the end of the year”. “It’s about adopting effective sanctions, preventing and protecting,” he said from the Leyen.
– ENVIRONMENT The EU will increase its contribution to the financing of “climate action” in the most vulnerable countries by four billion euros until 2027 and expects “an additional effort” from the United States and “other partners” . The EU had already pledged to finance 25 of the 100 billion a year promised by the international community until 2025.
– MIGRANTS Six years after the flow of refugees from Syria that took the EU by surprise, from the Leyen urged the Member States to adopt the reform of the asylum policy proposed by the Commission in 2020, which has run aground in deep divisions among the 27. “I urge you, in this House and in the Member States, to speed up the process,” he said. Lashing out against a “hybrid attack to destabilize Europe”, he also denounced the “exploitation” of migrants by Belarus, “embarked on airplanes and literally pushed towards the borders of Europe”.
– RULE OF LAW The EU leader underlined her “determination” to defend European values without stigmatizing Hungary and Poland. Brussels is engaged in a clash with the two countries over respect for the decisions of European justice, the independence of judges and the fight against corruption. “Some Member States have seen worrying developments” but “the dialogue never ends”, he said.
“The heartfelt speech of the VDL on the State of the Union is acceptable in many respects, but many others have been silenced” – declares Eleonora Evi, MEP and national co-spokesperson for Green Europe.
“Certainly the reference to the force with which we have faced the pandemic cannot fail to highlight the many shadows that have marked the fight against COVID; first of all because of the inequalities between Member States in terms of possibility and access to vaccines. Furthermore, the pandemic has once again highlighted the greater exposure of women to the risk of losing their jobs and being victims of domestic violence. In this regard, we welcome the proposal for a new law on combating violence. of gender, but the obstacles that prevent full economic and, therefore, decision-making autonomy of women must be removed.
The need for a proposal to protect journalists and freedom of expression, the founding principle of our Union, is absolutely acceptable. To the names of Daphné Caruana Galizia, Ján Kuciak and Peter de Vries cited by President Von Der Leyen, whom we should never forget, I would add that of Julian Assange, victim of the same gag system for which truth always assumes the connotations of a problem .
I also welcome the creation of the ALMA program to help young Europeans who have no employment or education, because that is what Europe has to do, to commit to leaving no one behind.
But it is not possible to outline the Europe of the future without considering the environmental challenges that we are called to fight, starting with the climate one.
This is why it is important that green products are exempted from paying VAT, rather than military ones; that is why it must be reiterated that the FIT FOR 55 package presented yesterday, although it represents a step in the right direction, is not adequate to address the urgency, because the envisaged measures require too long a period of implementation.
And that is why the silence on the new CAP has been deafening: we cannot allow one third of the European budget to be invested in supporting activities with a devastating impact on the climate, such as factory farming. And of course the change must also concern our food system, which we have a duty to make more sustainable with a diet that includes less meat consumption and organic practical incentives in agriculture. Unfortunately, not a word has been spent on this fundamental issue. But there is another major absentee in President Von Der Leyen’s speech: trade agreements, such as the one between the EU and Mercosur countries, which would have enormous repercussions not only on the environment, but also on the rights of indigenous peoples, the last stronghold for protect the Amazon rainforest from the aims of agribusiness.
The image of determination represented by Bebe Vio must inspire us to have the same courage in appropriating the future we want, a future that without putting environmental and climate policies at the center risks having a very short horizon “- concludes Evi.
EU, von der Leyen: excellent cooperation with Draghi
“Mario Draghi has a deep knowledge and we have excellent cooperation. I see for example that Italy’s Recovery plan is a very solid plan. And this is good. We will need his knowledge for the common recovery of Europe. and I’m looking forward to working with him. ” This was stated by the president of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, speaking with a group of Italian televisions on the sidelines of the Strasbourg plenary.